Thursday, March 02, 2006

The men in my life...

Right now I am supposed to be on my first real date with Evan since Johnny came into our lives. At least once a year we go see one of our favorite musicians, Damien Jurado, at our favorite bar, the Casbah. Evan's mom was going to babysit Johnny, I pumped a bottle of milk and everything seemed go. Except, me. As much as I wanted the time with Evan somewhere we so enjoy, I just wasn't ready to leave my baby, especially at bedtime. Oh well. I don't regret my decision, I know if I were at the concert right now, my mind would be here with Johnny, anyways. But it has gotten me thinking about how I balance motherhood and my relationship with Evan. Is it normal for there to be periods where one role takes a back seat to the other? I would love any advice or feedback from any of you reading this.
Well, I hope Evan is enjoying the great music and his last gin and tonic before Lent. We are going to get some time together after all. On Sunday afternoon, we are going to lunch and a movie and Johnny will be with Grandma. Hopefully, that will make everyone happy.


Aaron said...

Annie, I'll leave the advice to others, but will say that your situation sounds completely A-Okay. I don't think this situation in any way devalues your relationship with Evan.

On a lesser note...If Evan needs a last minute concert date in the me! I'd love to go to a show with him. :)

sara said...

Don't feel bad...I couldn't leave Basil until he was just over one year...I just felt weird. It didn't help that he wanted nothing to do with that bottle thing! I think learning how to balance realationships is a big part of striving to love the various people in our lives.
It's an odd-feeling but normal thing to have to completely redefine ideas about your role and who you are to people once you're a mother, I totally understand that. Sounds like you're on the right path (and a good wife/mommy) if you're thinking about it . I heard a great idea to have "date nights" after the kids are asleep...quiet dinner, etc., etc. Sunday afternoon sounds good, too. Just my humble opinion.

I love that this photo is so similar to one that you posted a while should keep that up as they both "grow"...what a nice collection that would be.

christy said...

hey annie, Christy here, I was browsing around Katy and saw that you had this one, how fun, anyway...
what you felt like about 'leaving' johnny is completely OK, I didn't want to leave "K" until she was 1 1/2 yrs old, and when I left her for the first time I was reck, cell phone in one hand and pondering thoughts about what is "K" doing now? is she ok? will she be ok?.. Its normal, plus remember MOTHERS KNOWS BEST,for their child..take care

Bethany said...

Hi Annie, I feel kind of bad jumping in on this one because I haven't commented on your other posts, but I have really been enjoying coming to your site. It brings back so many memories of when my babies were little (since now they are 10 and 6!) The feelings you have about leaving Johnny are totally normal. And now here is the hard part... It is really important that you spend the next 20+ years cultivating a deeper relationship with Evan. Unfortunately, it is all too common for a couple to look at each other after their kids have grown and moved out and realize that they have nothing to talk about. Some marriages dissolve at this point and it is sad when it could have been prevented. Another reason that it is important for you to invest in your relationship with Evan is that your kids will learn a lot from watching your relationship. A great deal of their security hinges on your relationship with your husband. Your boys will learn from their father how to treat their wives and your girls will learn how they should be treated and will have high standards when they start dating. But getting to that point doesn't happen overnight. And since we can pretty much guarantee that you will feel the same way with the next baby, and the one after that, it means that if you don't start cultivating that relationship with your husband now, you will have lost a lot of years. The good news is that men tend to be noble and stoic. You might not have to feel bad about missing the concert, but you should definitely take every opportunity to put your husband first. It isn't easy when your babies are nursing, but it is important. So have a good time on Sunday (yes, you might feel like a wreck with cell phone in hand, but you have to get past that part sometime), and make sure you don't wait too long before you do it again!

annie said...

Thanks to all for your insights.
We had a really nice afternoon, a slow lunch and nice stroll afterwards. I didn't realize how much I missed having a good conversation with Evan, without the distraction of a cutey next to us.
Bethany! So good to hear from you and I appreciate what you had to say. I am glad you visit my blog.
You too, Christy.
Gosh, now that I know people other than family are reading this I feel like I need to write more poignant words.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Annie,

I just found your blog through XK's blog, and have been reading through all the posts. I had to comment on this one! My kids are now 12 and 9 years old. When I became a mother I had no idea what kind of mother I would grow into being. I kind of figured that I would do some things differently than my parents did, but basically do things the same. But when my oldest was born I soon found out that my heart was telling me differently. The first time I said "no" to leaving my baby was when she was just under 2 weeks old, and my mil who had stayed with us from the day she was born to help us out, and was about to go home, told us to go out and enjoy a movie and she'd take care of the baby. I waffled on it....said yes at first, and then ultimately said it didn't feel right to me. Not that I didn't trust her--of course she would have done a fine job with the baby. But I felt I needed to be with this little one constantly.

As they've grown, I've kept them with me and let them be independant when they were ready, not just when I wanted time off. It's not that your relationship takes back seat to your relationship with your baby, it's that it has to change and become a new kind of relationship. There will be times later when you and your husband can have time just to be a couple. I know I differ from lots of people on this one, people do get sitters and go out a whole lot more frequently than we do. We moved to Portland in December (my husband is a priest) and we have used a sitter 3 times since moving--this is the first sitter we've ever had. I still don't feel comfortable with leaving them a lot--once a month is fine, and it's not even to go out as a couple, but to church functions.

We're about to have our first child-free anniversary celebration this Saturday! A woman from the parish found out about our anniversary, and my kids really enjoy her kids, and she offered to take them overnight. Wow.

So, sorry for the long-winded comment, but I had to tell you that I sympathize with how you're advice is to follow what your heart is telling you. Hopefully you and your husband will be able to forge a different but even better relationship while meeting your mommy needs.